The Open Government module has two parts: The boards, and the calendar. Before you can begin creating meetings with agendas using this module, you must make sure you have all your boards and members in place.
Five pages you should read to get the whole picture:
Meetings enter stage 3, "Draft Minutes" about five to ten minutes before the meeting starts. The full agenda is copied as the draft minutes, ready for editing and for minutes taking. The original agenda is preserved, un-editable, and is linked at the top of the draft minutes.
Minutes may be taken by the board during the meeting if they so wish, though, typically this would happen at a later date, transcribed from hand-written notes taken at the meeting or copied and pasted from a Word doc. By law the minutes must be entered within 72 hours of the meeting’s end. Once a meeting enters Draft Minutes stage, all the agenda editing buttons re-appear. No actual minutes-taking buttons will appear, however, until the meeting is opened, and attendance is taken.
In order to begin entering in the minutes of a meeting, the admin must “Open Meeting / Take Attendance” by clicking the button in the Meeting Preliminaries section at the top, which opens the attendance interface. All members of the board, as configured in the board interface, appear, and can be set as present, absent, or remote, with their arrival time.
In order to have an accurate board membership list here, the website admin must ensure the board is up-to-date in its membership. See “Boards and their Members”, above.
Once attendance is taken, the minutes-taking buttons will appear throughout the agenda, immediately under each agenda item. Minutes may be taken out of order, and items can be skipped. What matters most is that motions and discussions be recorded.
Also in the Meeting Preliminaries section at the top is approving minutes. If there were any previous meetings of this board recorded using the this Agenda Module whose minutes were not yet approved through this interface, they will appear here now. You can click the link to review them, and then click the green Approve Minutes button to do so. If there were multiple meetings with not yet approved minutes, they will all show here. It is not required to approve minutes to move into the rest of the meeting.
Motions and discussions cannot be entered without being attached to an agenda item. New agenda items as well as sections may be added during the meeting.
Agenda items may have multiple motions. They may also have discussions recorded without motions, if no motions are made but pertinent conversation happened for that agenda item.
To record a motion, simply click the green “create motion” button under an agenda item. A pop-up will appear allowing you to enter in the motion wording, who made it and seconded it, the discussion, how each board member voted on it, and whether it passed.
In order to avoid a potential endless recursion of amendments, amendments are recorded in the discussion. Only the final motion phrasing is recorded at the top. Everything else appears in the discussion.
Once in a Motion, you cannot move on to another Agenda item until a motion is voted on, whether it passes or not.
As discussed in Creating an Agenda, Executive Sessions are created at the Agenda Section level, and must be indicated at the time you are creating that section in the agenda.
Items appearing in an Executive Session section cannot be moved on until a vote to enter into the Executive Session section has passed. Once in Executive Session, boards can only make motions on the items in this section until a vote has been taken to leave Executive Session. All other sections of the agenda are grayed out, and all motion buttons no longer appear.
The only person who can see Executive Session minutes is the website admin who created the initial Agenda, no matter what stage the agenda / minutes are currently.
At the bottom of the agenda is the section Meeting Wrap-Up, which has two items: Next meeting(s), and close meeting.
Setting the next meeting dates simply requires going back to the calendar and creating a calendar event with this board chosen from the drop-down. If meeting dates have been set ahead of time, all future meetings will already appear in this item.
CLOSING THE MEETING
The meeting is considered open and in session until it is closed by motion and vote. This records when the meeting ended, and allows the minutes-taker name(s) to be recorded, and any further notes to be added.
Closing the meeting also makes the minutes eligible for approval at a subsequent meeting.
Draft Minutes will not appear on the website unless you first Close the meeting, then click the white "Publish Minutes" button at the bottom of the minutes. This act cannot be undone, currently.
Appears in: Open Government Module